Here we go again, the summer has arrived and it’s hot. And if you’ve got kids – summer holidays are looming (or you are here on a summer holiday) and you can’t tell them to “go outside”. Well, you could, but that might be mean. Here are a few suggestions for activities to keep kids busy this summer:
1. Mall Playgrounds. Most malls have them, Magic Planet at the MCC (and shortly QCC), Happy Land at the MGM, and Fun City at the Al Meera mall in Azaiba. Basically you buy a pass-card and load it up with credit and let the kids swipe their way to entertainment bliss.
2. Go swimming. Most, if not all, pools at all 5 and 4 star hotels are cooled during the summer. I find that going swimming in the sea is not refreshing as the seawater is usually as warm as the ambient temperature and doesn’t cool you down. There’s also a number of clubs around town you can buy memberships to that have pools. Coincidentally, the MRFC are offering a summer membership that grants you access to the Grand Hyatt Muscat's pool all summer for RO 20 (single) or RO 40 for family membership (up to 2 kids).
3. Go Ice skating. At the Fun Zone (2466 2951) in Qurum (there’s more to do than ice skate) there is a great ice skating rink that opened a year or two ago. The rink is open from 9am till midnight, with half hour closures throughout the day to allow the ice to recover.
4. Go bowling. There are 3 bowling alleys in town, one at Fun Zone, one at Al Masa mall’s Bowling centre (2469 3991) and one at the Oman Bowling Centre (2448 0747). Hours vary from location to location but are generally 9am – midnight.
5. Go to a museum. The Children’s museum in Qurum (2460 5368), Natural history museum in Wizarat (2464 1510) and the Sultan’s Armed Forces museum in Ruwi (2431 2642) are my top 3 museums in Muscat. Hours are generally 8:30am – 1:30pm and entrance fees range from free to RO 1 depending on your age. Here's a great website with lots of Museums in Oman detailed.
6. Go to the cinema. Next month the first of the 2 new VOX Cinema's opens up at the Muscat City Centre (with the other one at Qurum City Centre due later this year), added to that are the multiple locations of City Cinema all over town and further afield, as well as the cinema at the Bhaja Mall near to MCC.
7. Try one of SeaOman's 4-day summer sailing camps (run by Oman Sail). Ok, so this one is outside, but it's in the water, even if the seas of Oman resemble baths at this time of year. There is a 4 day session between 22-25 June, 10-13 August and 24-27 August at The Wave, Muscat, and 17-20 June at the Marina Bandar Rowdha - each course is RO 40 and includes Sailing, Kayaking, Powerboat rides and Banana & Ringo rides - for RO 10 a day, thats pretty good - it's open to kids between 8-16 years old, and I assume it is a requirement that they can actually swim.
8. Go camping (or stay in a hotel) up in the mountains. It's usually 10-15 'C cooler up in the mountains and is a pretty popular summer camp location. There's quite a few walks to do and some of the newer hotels (Check out Alila) have some cracking pools with views up there.
Thats my 8 top tips - I'm sure some of you have more suggestions, and I'm all ears - comment below so we can all benefit.